Strictly Business Fracking issue divides communities near and far

Strictly Business Fracking issue divides communities near and far by G. Jeffrey Aaron, August 25, 2012, Star-Gazette
Despite the economic boost, the drilling deeply divided the community. On one side were those who saw dollars. On the other side were those who felt the environment was being damaged. If the scenario sounds familiar, it should. But it’s not taking place in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier. It’s playing out on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. The tribe leased about 1 million of its 1.5 million acres to drilling companies, which are targeting oil. So far, the Blackfeet have collected about $30 million from the drilling companies. They paid off debt incurred by constructing a casino. They built a grocery store. Each tribe member received $200 in payments last year, but the debate continues. It seems that fracking creates the same divisions — no matter where — pitting those with environmental concerns against those seeking economic salvation.

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